Anxious People

A Novel

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 08 Sep 2020 | Archive Date 01 Jan 2021

Talking about this book? Use #AnxiousPeople #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

A People Book of the Week, Book of the Month Club selection, and Best of Fall in Good Housekeeping, PopSugar, The Washington Post, New York Post, Shondaland, CNN, and more!

[A] quirky, big-hearted novel…Wry, wise, and often laugh-out-loud funny, it’s a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure.” —People

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove comes a charming, poignant novel about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

Rich with Fredrik Backman’s “pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope—the things that save us, even in the most anxious times.
Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

A People Book of the Week, Book of the Month Club selection, and Best of Fall in Good Housekeeping, PopSugar, The Washington Post, New York Post, Shondaland, CNN...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781501160837
PRICE $28.00 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send To Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 911 members

Featured Reviews

This will end up being one of my favorite books of the year hands down. Anxious People is funny, moving and will break your heart in half at times. This was a fast paced book that I could re read often. The words in this book are filled with compassion and humanity. Backman is a writer who truly understands human nature and it shows in every one of his books. Without spoiling anything, the story begins with a bank robbery, that leads to a hostage situation, that leads to the exploration of every individual involved, including the reader. My favorite stories are the ones that make you reevaluate who you are and what makes you that way, and this was no exception. Thank you Fredrick Backman for once again giving us a treasure. Thank you to Simon and Schuster and Netgallery for gifting me an advanced copy.

Was this review helpful?

Absolutely brilliant, as always. How one person has such imagination to come up with this level of original, creative, inventive plots is beyond me. No one writes like Backman -- he is truly in a league of his own. "Anxious People" is nothing short of a wonderful gem.

Was this review helpful?

Fredrik Backman is a master at running you through the gambit of emotions-- searching for tissues one minute, only to be snorting in laughter the next. Anxious People is no exception to this and falls very much in the same path as A Man Called Ove and Britt Marie was Here (two of the most adorable characters in all of contemporary literature). The book is essentially set over the course of one very long day when a bank robber completely blunders the holdup and then inadvertently takes a group hostage while they are looking at an apartment for purchase. Then, there's father/son cop team attempting to thwart the thief, but instead are humorously bungling it from the beginning. The best, as always with Backman, is his cast of loveable characters-- the funny one, the depressed one(s), the curmudgeon, the romantic one, plus a few more that slowly becoming irrecoverably interwined in such a way that they will be altered permanently because of the relationship formed. This book, however, should probably be read by all human. The author's light and funny narrative is heavily laced with deep mental health awareness issues. Suicide plays a prominent role throughout; however, not in such a way to depress the reader... But rather the opposite. The book gives a great perspective on the importance of human connection-- and how it is the one true healer for our disconnected, online world. If you've never read a Fredrik Backman book, I heavily suggest them all. You'll get all the feels and meet some very memorable characters along the way! *I received this ARC from Netgalley for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: